July 29, 2015
I Thessalonians 4:16, 17
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
We are going to finish Getting High With Jesus! We have looked at three of four scriptures – all four telling of an increasing degree of being elevated in our relationship with Jesus Christ.
• Psalm 40:1 through 4 is the first. God raised us up out of sin to stand on the Rock Christ Jesus (see Matthew 16:18, I Corinthians 10:4).
• Isaiah 40:28 through 31 is the second. He will give us eagle’s wings to fly above the troubles of this world.
• Ephesians 2:4 through 7 is the third. As it says in verse 6, “…God…raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus….” As we saw in the last blog, heaven is a place of victory, provision, safety and joy – and a lot more!
So according to the first three, Jesus raised us up from being in the pit of sin, to flying above our troubles, to being positionally in heaven with Him!
Now, let’s go on to our fourth scripture…
• I Thessalonians 4:16, 17:
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the
voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in
Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be
caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
This is the ultimate height we reach by Getting High With Jesus! – actually and bodily in heaven!
Many Bible scholars (I included) think I Thessalonians 4:13 through 18 have to do with the Rapture – that event by which the Lord calls His Church out of world seven years before His Second Coming. The Rapture will then be followed by Daniel’s Seventieth Week (see Daniel 9:24-27), the last half being The Great Tribulation.
Whatever period this passage is assigned to, it speaks of a bodily resurrection of believers who will then “…always be with the Lord…” in heaven! What will it mean to be bodily in heaven?
▸ I will be in the actual physical presence of God! I will see the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit! I have often wondered what it would be like to look upon the face of my Savior. Will I actually get the privilege John had in John 13:35 of laying my head upon His breast? I will surely bow before Him in thanksgiving and praise for all He has done for me!
▸ I will be with my believing loved ones! Notice in I Thessalonians 4:17 it says, “…we…shall be caught up together with them….And thus we [together] shall always be with the Lord.” I want to share the glories and joys of heaven with those I love!
▸ I will no longer have to struggle with sin! In I John 3:2 it is written: “…we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” In Hebrews 7:26 Jesus is described as being “…holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners….” That means if I am going to be like Him in heaven, then I also will be “…holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners….”! Praise God!
▸ All evil will be excluded from heaven! It says of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:27, “…there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles , or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” We will live a perfect life in a perfect environment!
▸ I will be home! Jesus told us in John 15:19, “…you are not of the world…I chose you out of the world….” In John 14:2 He said, “…I go to prepare a place for you.” He – the Almighty Son of God – has been preparing that place for almost two thousand years! It must be some place! And in Hebrews 13:14 (Good New Bible) we are reminded, “…there is no permanent city for us here on earth; we are looking for the city which is to come.” Although I am not in a rush to go there, I am looking forward to going home!
Yes, the bodily resurrection and being taken to heaven is the ultimate level of Getting High With Jesus! What wonderful ‘highs’ Christians have both already achieved and have to look forward to!